Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2021 Psalm 107:8.

Psalm 107:8.    ​Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men.

Please note friends, that this is simply an aberration, not a regular occurrence. (smile) I’m talking about receiving the Bit so early on a Tuesday morning. But it has been forced upon me by an early morning appointment for some tests in the hospital, and with the bad weather out there and the confusion in the hospitals, I’m not sure when I’ll be back. 

And believe me, if it was in normal times when tests were fairly easy to come by, I would certainly have cancelled this one after the snowstorm passed by last night and dropped a few inches on us. But things have changed so much during these pandemic times that I am forced to brave the beautiful white, but oh so dangerous stuff this early morning. (smile) And since this Bit will be short and sweet, let’s get going with something Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) called ‘The Possibility Thinker’s Creed,’ a li’l encouragement for a cold and snowy Tuesday Morning. 

Please read with me. ‘When faced with a mountain, I will not quit! I will keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath, or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine – with God’s help.’ Now that should liven us up this morning, and give us some strength and strong desire to keep keeping on and NEVER to give up, because Christians don’t do that sort of thing. Hn! And I do hope that I find a pass through the mountain of snow when I get out there, because I really don’t feel like climbing over it, tunnelling underneath or staying and turning it into a gold mine. (smile) 

Now here is something else I’d like to share, one of my favourite prayers. It’s titled ‘Lord, Please Accept My HeartfeltThanks!’ It was prepared by the Life -Study Fellowship, Noroton, Connecticut some years ago, and I’ve shared it already, but I think the time’s come to share it again. (smile) So please pray with me. ‘Dear Lord, You are so good to me! And Ithank Yousincerely for the many blessings You send me! I’m very glad to have You in my life day in and day out – whatever I do and wherever I go! 

You are the One who always does what is best for my happiness! How grateful I am to be able to turn to You for guidance and comfort when troubles come my way! If any situation arises that makes me feel discouraged, You let me know I can lean on You for support! And because of YourLOVEfor me, somehow I seem to find the strength to keep going – even through the most difficult of times! I’m grateful, too, for peaceful moments like these when I’m all alone with You in prayer! 

Talking with You never fails to reassure and uplift me! Nothing I say to You goes unheard. You listen with great concern to everything I confide in You! For You truly care about me! As I look to 2021, I pray that You will continue to watch over me – and grant me even more of Your wonderful blessings! And may I serve You well in my every word, my every deed! Be my Guide hour by hour, I pray! Amen.’ 

Oh friends, as far as I am concerned you could not get a much better overall prayer than that! It certainly covers all bases. And it’s based on this wonderful scripture from Psalm 107.‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men.For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps. 107:8-9) 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people! If mankind was a li’l more thankful and praiseful and grateful to the Lord God Almighty, I’m sure we would not be in the terrible mess in which we’re now in! But we like to use our free will, be proud of our independence and do our own thing. Hn! Therefore, when we make the wrong decisions, we have to pay the price, But unfortunately, though we doLOVEto be proud and arrogant, we don’t have the concomitant parts to stand our bounce when we do wrong and the tough consequences come a calling. Only then do we know God and cry out to Him for help! 

And the psalmist thought that our Bit was so important that he included it three more times in the one psalm; verses 15, 21 and 31. Now here’s what he says after verse 15; ‘For he hath broken the gates of brass (bronze) and cut the bars of iron in sunder (asunder). Fools, because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.’ (Ps. 107:16-17) And that’s no lie friends, as we and all our foolish and evil doings, can all attest to. 

And after verse 21, the psalmist declares (yes!) ‘And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing (joyful singing).’ (Ps. 107. 22) Oh how much better off we’d be my people, if we did more joyful singing and thanksgiving than the inordinate amount of complaining we do. And after verse 31, the psalmist makes another profound statement. ‘Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.’ (Ps. 107:32) 

More sound and wise advice my brethren. Let’s try and take some it this Tuesday morning nuh. It would be oh such sweet balm to our tired and wounded souls. And now it’s time to go home declaring (awright!) our Tuesday Mantra, proudly telling the whole world who and whose we are. 

Altogether in strong, sincere voice now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’  

So let’s mosey on and do just that nuh.Much LOVE!

…the Lord gave us free will…so that we would use it wisely…not foolishly… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2021 Psalm 107:15.

Psalm 107:15.     Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Well it’s Friday, and life goes on in a somewhat bleak and challenging way. Nonetheless, there is the joy of the Lord in our souls and thanks and praise issuing from our hearts and mouths for God’s wonderful goodness to the children of men. 

Psalm 107 says it. ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men. For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps. 107:8-9) And there can be no denying of God’s Word. 

I also like how the psalmist describes the situation. ‘Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron (prisoners);’ (Ps. 107:10) And it is fair to say that many of us today are sitting in darkness, prisoners of the world and all its evil spells; afraid of the corona virus and all that it’s doing to our godless society. 

But why is that eh? Hear the words of the psalmist. ‘Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned (despised) the counsel of the Most High:’ (Ps. 107: 11) 

Oh my people, we cannot deny that charge of rebellion, since we have indeed despised God’s word, even to the point of desperately trying to kick Him out of our modern, technological society, because we think He’s old fashioned and obsolete! 

But we obviously have not learned from the history of mankind, where many other nations rebelled and tried to get rid of Jehovah God, with no success whatsoever, because the universe is His; He created it and still controls it, and will not let mere mortals, His creation, push Him around. 

Remember how Lucifer, the then archangel rebelled in heaven? And where is he now eh? Walking around the earth as the evil Satan. Kicked out unsolicitously from heaven for his foolish pride and insolence, wanting to overthrow his Maker. Israel is also a very good example of that rebellion. 

Remember, we’re supposed to learn from History. But we obviously are not, for there are inevitable negative consequences when you despise God’s word and try to run Him out of town. The psalmist puts it thus: ‘Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.’ (Ps. 107:12) 

Yuh notice how we falling like flies these days, and we don’t seem to have any help? But that’s not quite true; there’s always help available, if we look in the right places. And the Israelites were famous for finding help when the consequences of their rebellion stung them to the core. 

Hear the psalmist again nuh. ‘Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of the darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder (broke their chains in pieces.’ (Ps. 107:13-14) 

Oh my people, my people, the Lord God Jehovah is our obvious place of refuge, our sure solution in these times of abject darkness and sorrow and despair! It’s the only place where we can find succour and true refuge from all that afflicts our society. It doesn’t even require much wisdom, but mere common sense, since nothing else we’re trying is working. 

Just the process of elimination alone, should bring us back solemnly, respectfully and repentantly to Almighty God! No wonder the psalmist thought that this verse was so nice he had to include it twice: ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!’ (Ps. 107:15) 

I don’t know why we’re not doing that on a much larger scale nuh friends, ‘For he (God) hath broken the gates of brass (bronze) and cut the bars of iron in sunder (asunder). (However) Fools, because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.’ (Ps. 107:17-18) 

That’s us, our current society the psalmist is talking about friends. When are we going to wake up and realize that Almighty God is our ONLY solution to EVERY problem we face eh? That’s why I admire the Israelites to a certain extent. Although they were foolish to turn away from God in prosperous moments, in the consequential tough times, they always remembered that it was with Him that their bread was truly buttered and turned back to Him. 

As the psalmist records: ‘Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.’ (Ps. 107: 19-20) 

Oh my brethren, the Lord did send His Word, Jesus Christ to heal us and save us from our self-destruction, but we’re not paying sufficient attention to Him, and that’s the major reason why we’re currently suffering our current ‘sufferation.’ 

Disobedience to God WILL ALWAYS bring negative consequences! That’s a given! But repentance and subsequent obedience is rewarded with God’s goodness to the children of men. So let’s be wise and turn to God for help nuh, through our Friday Chant. We have absolutely nothing to lose, and so very much to gain. 

Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. 

And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’  

Now friends, if we’re truly sincere in that prayer, then we need to do as the psalmist advises: ‘And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing (joyful singing).’ (Ps. 107:22) Much LOVE!

…the smart money…in whatever situation…is ALWAYS on God… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 November 2020 Psalm 107:8.

Psalm 107:8.     ​Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

One more time, one more time, let’s do it one more time fellow saints of Christ! I mean, let’s get together on the Lord’s Day, by whatever means possible, and worship and praise His Holy Name as He desires of us on at least one day of every week! Yes my people, that is one of the duties for which we were created, along with the awesome blessing of having a close and personal relationship with the wise and wonderful Deity who created us. Glory to His blessed name, for there is no other supposed god who desires such a relationship with their followers as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob desires with His. 

So let’s cut out the talk and get down to some serious worship nuh. (smile) And today’s song is one I sent to some of you by WhatsApp this week, titled ‘The Goodness of God’ sung by Jenn Johnson with the Bethel church. So some of you know it. (smile) And after listening to several versions of the song, all of them decent enough in their own right, I still had to come back to the Jenn Johnson version because it had a particular soulful and yet rocking sound that seemed rather appropriate for the song. 

So without further ado, let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise, offering up heartfelt and true emotion and sentiments to our majestic, magnanimous and magnificent God, Jehovah. In slow, soulful harmony to start, then breaking into a rocking, raunchy riddim at the chorus. ‘I love You Lord Oh Your mercy never fails me And all my days I’ve been held in Your hands From the moment that I wake up Until I lay my head down, Oh I will sing of the goodness of God (Chorus: All my life You have been faithful And All my life You have been so, so good. With every breath that I am able, Oh I will sing of the goodness of God.) 

I LOVE Your voice. You have led me through the fire. In my darkest night, You were close like no other. I’ve known You as a Father, I’ve known You as a friend, Oh I have lived, in the goodness of God. (Chorus: Yeahhh! And all my life You have been faithful…I will sing of the goodness of God) Yeah, yeah, it’s so good! Your goodness is running after, It’s running after me. Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me. With my life laid down, I’m surrendered now, I give You everything, cause Your goodness is running after, It’s running after me. Ohhh, cause Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me. 

With my life laid down, I’m surrendered now, I give You everything, cause Your goodness is running after, It’s running after me. Your goodness is running after, it keeps running after me. And All my life You have been faithful And All my life You have been so, so good With every breath that I am able, Oh I’m going to sing, Oh I’m going to sing of the goodness of God. For all my life You have been faithful, all my life You have been so good. 

Oh You lead me in glory…ever-faithful, You are my anchor in the wind and the waves… You are my provider…Oh yeah…and You lead me in glory by your spirit…You are my joy…my joy…every day…Oh shepherd of my soul…what a joy to know You…Oh, the joy of knowing You God…You’re everything to me…so wonderful…so wonderful in all your ways…in all your ways. That’s why I will always sing of Your goodness Lord…I will always sing of Your goodness Lord.’ 

Mama Mia! What a great paean (song of praise, worship, triumph, thanksgiving) to Almighty God, in which our voices were gloriously united! It couldn’t get any better than that my brethren, because the sentiments were all true! And today all we’re going to do is look at some scripture that gloriously display God’s wonderful works to the children of men! And that’s the superscript of Psalm 107, from which most, if not all of our scripture will come. Hear how the psalmist begins nuh: ‘O Give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.’ (Ps. 107:1-2) 

The psalmist there was talking about the nation of Israel whom the Lord took out of bondage from Egypt, and because of their disobedience, they wandered in the wilderness, lost and without a shepherd, hungry and thirsty and faint. (Ps. 107:3-4) But eventually they smartened up, and ‘Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.’ (Ps. 107:6-7) 

Yeh friends, that’s the difference between obedience to God and disobedience. If we want to be left alone, He will leave us alone to do our own thing, but when we decide to call on Him in true and sincere repentance, He comes running to our aid. As the psalmist further states: ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!’ (Ps. 107:8) What a glorious observation! Why, you ask? Hear the psalmist’s answer. ‘For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps. 107:9) 

Ah mih bredrin, when we come to God in repentance and submission, He looks after us. But when we turn away from Him, rebel against Him, He allows the evil one to cause us to ‘sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron (being prisoners);’ (Ps. 107:10) And when we wake up and cry out to Him again in times of trouble, He comes running and saves us out of our distresses. He brings us out of the darkness and the shadow of death, and breaks our bands in sunder (breaks our chains in pieces). And for that we should again praise Him for His goodness as our Bit says. (Ps. 107:11-16) 

Oh my people, we are so near and dear to the God of our forefathers that He can’t deny us when we turn to Him in true surrender. Look at what He did for the Israelites…and look at what He did for us by sending His Only Son Jesus to be sacrificed for our sins. That speaks of a golden heart of LOVE in the Being we call our God. And that’s why the psalmist’s cry makes undeniable sense: ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing (joyful singing).’ (Ps. 107:21-22) 

And that’s what we’ve just done: declared His works with joyful singing! Glory be precious people! And we can go on through Psalm 107 and the rest of the Good Book and find innumerable reasons for praising God for His goodness. But time and space are against us. So let’s remember all those times that He’s bailed us out nuh, both individually and collectively, and stay under His protective umbrella, because that’s the ONLY safe place in this evil world! Much LOVE!

…the Lord is good…ALL THE TIME… because that’s His nature… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 June 2019 Isaiah 55:1.

Isaiah 55:1.    ​Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
 

Ah friends, it looks like it’s going to be one of those days; all the joints are aching and the ole fella’s dragging like an old man! Chuh! I hate when that happens, especially when I’m on a nice, fairly long, pain free run…well not completely pain free, because it’s never that nowadays. (smile) 

Yuh know what I mean though; not having to take no setta pain pills and moving along smooth and easy, the way the duchess likes to see her husband move. (smile) But as you also know, prayer is the panacea, the cure-all for ALL the ills of the soul, so let’s get into a nice li’l uplifting prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional nuh. It’s simply titled: ‘Fill Me!’ 

Please pray with me: ‘O Lord, like the thirsty deer which goes to drink from the mountain springs; like the growing flower which turns hungrily to the satisfying sun; like the empty pitcher which is carried to the fountain to be filled; so I come, O God, knowing that in this time of prayer my soul will be filled with your LOVE and your truth. Thank you Lord! Amen.’  

Yes my people, if we were sincere and humble in that prayer, but also confident that God would grant our desire, then right now we’re being filled with the LOVE and truth of our heavenly father by the Holy Spirit that dwells within us. Glory be, precious saints of Christ! What a great and wonderful God we serve my faithful brethren! 

A God who desires us to come to Him whenever we’re tired and thirsty, famished and broken down for rest, comfort and succour. That’s why the prophet Isaiah wisely advised his people, the Israelites, to ‘Seek ye the Lord while he may be found. Call ye upon him while he is near.’ (Is.55:6) 

Yes friends, that’s simply common sense imbued with heavenly wisdom! (smile) He’s our Creator and Provider, so who else we going to call on eh? Surely not Ghostbusters, nor the evil one! And in keeping with the thirsty theme, I just want to look at some of the scriptures that powerfully illustrate our message, beginning with this wonderful, unimaginable invitation from God Himself, through Isaiah, to His people Israel, and consequently to us. 

‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.’ Wow! What an invitation mih breddren! Nobody else can ever match that! Buying spiritual milk and water and food for free! Only in the realm of our magnificent and magnanimous God is that possible! 

Hear what the scholars say about that nuh. ’55:1-7. God’s free gift of salvation is offered to ALL who will receive it. Those who are spiritually hungry and thirsty may come to eat and drink without money (or freely). He promises an everlasting covenant to the Gentiles like the one He established with Israel. His invitation to ALL men is clearly stated by the appeal, Seek ye the Lord and call ye upon him.’ 

And here now are a few scriptures where men hungry and thirsty for God did just that, beginning with this favourite from Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God. ‘As the hart (deer) panteth after (longs for) the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?’ (Ps.42:1-2) 

Oh my people, are we that hungry and thirsty for our great God? I would certainly like to think so, but unfortunately the reality of our actions in these evil times doesn’t show it. It’s more like we’ve forgotten that God exists, and more like we’re trying to get rid of Him from our broken down and evil society. 

But just a word of caution; that’s impossible to do. He might allow us to carry on with our nonsense for a time, but in the end, He will have the last word and the last laugh. So please let’s wake up and realize that our world is on the brink of destruction and only real and strong faith in Christ Jesus can ever help us to fix it. Enough preaching though. (smile) 

Hear Bruh David now from Psalm 63 – God satisfies the thirsting soul. ‘O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.’ (Ps.63:1) 

And in Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men, the psalmist declares thus: ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness (LOVING-kindness).’ (Ps.107:8-9) Oh that men nowadays would really take those words of wisdom to heart and action them! Our world would be a much better place! 

And one more time from Bruh David from Psalm 143 – Teach me to do thy will. ‘ I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse (ponder) on the work of thy hands. I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land.   Selah.’ (Ps.143:5-6) Ah mih people, again we see Bruh David in anguish of spirit and soul, possibly beset by enemies thirstily crying out for God to fill him with grace and mercy and LOVING-kindness! So who are we not to do the same eh? 

Anyway, here is the definitive word on a spiritually hungry and thirsty soul…from none other than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, from His Sermon on the Mount. ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.’ (Matt.5:6) And isn’t that the gospel truth! Those of us who are poor and hungry in spirit and realize the depth of our need and faithfully seek God, will indeed be filled with the Lord’s grace, mercy and LOVING-kindness! 

And having imbued our soul and spirit with those uplifting, assuring and comforting words, let’s go home now declaring (yes!) our Tuesday Mantra, proudly telling the world who and whose we are! In strong voice, as one: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

Oh glory be mih people! What joy it brings to the soul when we are beloved of Jesus and can sincerely count Him as our friend! So please let’s go out and share that good news now nuh! It’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…oh, words cannot describe…how wonderful it feels…to have Jesus…living right here within me…